The Mosquito Fleet consisted of a small fleet of small fishing boats operated by members of the African-American community in and around Charleston. While the fleet mainly fished for commercial and subsistence purposes it also provided a ferry service across the Ashley and Cooper Rivers between the sea islands and the City of Charleston.
During its heyday the small boats with their brightly colored sails were so numerous they were said to look like a swarm of mosquito skimming over the water. In addition to commercial fishing the fleet also put on an annual race on the 4th of July. In the last known race boats like Ocean Queen, Matchme, Too Sweet My Love, and P.M. Catchem competed for the top prize. By the 1960s the Mosquito Fleet was all but gone due in part to hurricanes and higher paying jobs at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. Learn more about history and economics of our watershed.